How To Choose A Tax Preparer

It's tax time, and if you're not doing your own taxes, you're paying someone else to do it. An estimated 84 million taxpayers will choose to use a paid tax preparer this tax season.{} Here are some IRS tips to choose carefully:{}

  • Check the person's qualifications.{} New regulations require all paid tax return preparers to have what's called a PTIN, or Preparer Tax Identification Number, before preparing any federal tax returns in 2011.
  • Check to see if the preparer has a questionable history with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can get a larger refund than anyone else. {}
  • Make sure the tax preparer is around and accessible beyond the April deadline.{} You may have questions about your return, and if they disappear for the rest of the year, it's probably not a good choice.

The IRS makes it clear... it doesn't matter if you or someone else does your taxes... you're the one legally responsible for what's on your tax return.{} So it's important to hire the right tax preparer.Click here for more tips on choosing a tax preparer.